McLaren on top in 2nd practice
McLaren took first blood in the build-up to Sunday's Australian Grand Prix when test driver Pedro de la Rosa set the fastest time of the day as he topped Friday's second practice session at Albert Park.

De la Rosa, who finished second behind Red Bull driver Vitantonio Liuzzi in the first session, set a time of 1:25.376 to finish three tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

McLaren have been tipped as favourites to take victory in Melbourne this weekend as world champions Ferrari struggle with their modified F2004M car before introducing their all-new model later in the year.

With Juan Pablo Montoya fifth fastest the Woking-based team look set to put in a strong challenge for victory but they will have to contend with a few regular rivals if Friday's running is a prediction of what is to come.

World champion Michael Schumacher looked down and out after opting to conserve his engine life failing to set a time in the opening session then struggling to perform in his opening laps in the afternoon run.

But he was soon back to his familiar form and finished fourth fastest and was 0.705 seconds off the pace although he was, for once, not the fastest German as compatriot Nick Heidfeld claimed third in the lead Williams.

Brazilian Felipe Massa finished sixth fastest for Sauber with Spain's Fernando Alonso seventh in the lead Renault after opting, like Schumacher, to conserve engine life and not set a time in the morning session.

Briton Jenson Button finished eighth in the lead BAR-Honda with Rubens Barrichello ninth in the second Ferrari and Italian Giancarlo Fisichella rounding out the top ten in the second Renault.

Teams limited their running in the first session to reduce engine wear for the weekend but they were not so cautious in the second and with 20 minutes gone all but the two Minardi cars had set a competitive lap time.

De la Rosa led the way again early on but the times were significantly slower than in the morning with temperatures rising to 22 degrees Celsius.

With 30 minutes gone Raikkonen was on top of the pile with a time of 1:26.311, around four tenths slower than Liuzzi's session-leading time of 1:25.967 from the morning running.

His new team-mate Montoya, who joined from Williams at the end of last year, soon offered a taste of things to come, however, when he pipped the Finn by just 0.084 seconds to take the top spot away just seconds later.

Fisichella sat in third spot for Renault with David Coulthard fourth for Red Bull while world champion Schumacher sat in a distant 18th spot after completing just six laps.

Robert Doornbos, the Dutch Jordan test driver, had an early spin and Liuzzi, who topped the morning session, also made a mistake and lost control at turn three but was able to recover.

Barrichello spun his Ferrari at turn nine and Fisichella lost control of his Renault at turn 10 while Christian Kilen, of Red Bull, and Jordan's Tiago Montiero both looked ragged as they dropped two wheels onto the grass. Toyota's Ralf Schumacher also spun, some 20 minutes before the session ended.

Once again Patrick Freisacher, of Austria, and Dutchman Christijan Albers were forced to wait for their debuts as Ferrari continued to block their Minardi team's request to run cars with aerodynamics that do not comply to 2005 rules.
shares
comments
Friday Second Free Practice - Australian GP

Previous article

Friday Second Free Practice - Australian GP

Next article

Montoya: Raikkonen and I Not Prost and Senna

Montoya: Raikkonen and I Not Prost and Senna
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Will Gray
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021